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I am ... very happy with your plans, the organization that you have put into it and I am extremely happy with the response I have gotten from you when I have encountered a problem.
It sure does save money. At the same time it allows me and others like me to experience making the cage for our animal (animals) that we care so much about. I think that when someone takes the time to sit down and make something like this for their animal it really shows how much they care for them and respect them.

With your plans you can also alter the cage to each and everyone's specifications, or needs. I think what you are doing is wonderful and I want to thank you again.

Robert Hansford


"This is going to make an 11 year old and his lizard Rex very happy".


Spent $108.00 at Lowes, another $65.00 at Home Depot buying things that Lowes didn't have..... Spending time with my son in a hardware store.... PRICELESS!"


"Overall, the best thing I have found from the cage designs... is that:
They work!!!!

They allow you to view and touch your Iguana from all sides, This is a must!

Once you have the material list you don't go back to the hardware store.

Just follow the instructions and it comes out perfect.

Your maintenance will be much easier.

Your iguana will thank you

Once again, you will have built something cool. "

Regards and best to all our Green Iguana friends, Lance and Joey Portwood Glidden, Texas ".


"Very well thought-out designs"



Hawaii Geck O – A Detective Story

By Michelle “McGarrett” Nash

I was cleaning the kitchen to host the Ladies Bunco Night at my house a few weeks age when I spied the Tupperware container filled with sea shells, snail shells and bits and pieces of treasures we found on the beaches in Hawaii.

When leaving Hawaii, I had carefully packed these sea shells and other treasures in the container by layering everything with tissue paper so nothing would break. So by now I'm thinking, "Jeez! It's been 2 months since we got back and I need to open that up and divvy up the sea shells and stuff and tell the kids to take them to their rooms and get them out of the kitchen." It could be a bit smelly too!

But when I open it up, out jumps this tiny little lizard! OMG!! Where the heck did this come from? Then, after securing her, I realize there's another one! After some research, I found they were "Mourning Geckos". We saw lots of them at night in Hawaii, but did not intend to bring any home to Chicago and if fact, as far as we knew, we didn't bring any Geckos home. So where did these come from?

Apparently the snail shells we collected had gecko eggs in them (this type of gecko tends to lay 2 eggs at a time). They were clearly only recently hatched and they were very thirsty.

I could not believe it! Of all the people for this to happen to, what were the chances of this set of circumstances happening? That they would be found by a reptile enthusiast and keeper, not some housewife who would've screamed and squashed them? That, after having no direct fresh air for 2 months, no extra humidity (and humidity is a big requirement to hatch reptile eggs), being jostled around a piece of luggage at 30 thousand feet (probably with no temperature control too) for more than 8 hours of flight, plus a connecting flight where the luggage was bounced around even more, then sat in my kitchen virtually undisturbed for 2 months (they need 2 months to hatch and must be undisturbed during the incubation or they could die) they manage to survive and hatch?

It was like the sun and moon and stars and everything had to line up just right for these little cuties to survive and hatch. This was just too bizarre!

I just couldn’t get over this! The only thing that made sense to me was that there was some extra moisture in the container from the wet snail shells as I had thoroughly rinsed them out before packing to remove any rotting, smelly dead-snail remnants and I didn't want them to stink in the container. Other than the naturally humid air from Hawaii, there was no other moisture.

Ironically, my daughter pleaded with me in Hawaii to let her keep one for a pet and I said, "No, I think it's probably against the law. They won't let critters into Hawaii and they probably don't want any leaving either." So, while we enjoyed taking photos of them there, contrary to our intentions, we have little castaways/stowaways here in our house.

It turns out this type of lizard is parthenogenic so they don't need males to reproduce. They're all female. They make little genetic replicas of themselves and so in 8-10 months, at maturity, they will start doing their thing and making more! (I think, since they are little castaways we should call them "MaryAnn and Ginger", from Gilligan's Island) We have "a little piece of Hawaii" right here in my home.

Like any good detective, I needed to know more. Rather than destroy all the snail shells searching for the gecko egg remains, I used a dental mirror (the kind with a tiny mirror on the end of a stick) and I held it just inside the snail shell openings until I found which one had evidence of eggs being attached deep inside the interior walls. I soon found one snail shell had what appeared to be gecko egg remnants and 2 more gecko eggs inside. These little lizards are known to lay eggs communally but I wasn't aware of that till I found these two egg shells and did more internet research. I was saddened to think I might have now doomed two gecko hatchlings to death since I'd been turning the snail shells over and moving them around a lot. Remember, I was looking for evidence of where my hatchlings came from, I wasn't thinking there'd be more eggs.

After shining light through the gecko egg shells it didn't seem to me there was anything actually inside the gecko shells. There were no embryonic shadows in them, nor evidence of veins and the shells were dry and hard to the touch so I carefully broke one open. I discovered they were nothing but dried gecko eggs. Apparently they had expired long ago as there was nothing left inside them but a tiny dot of dried mucous. Well, I assume they were both dried out and expired, though I didn't break the second one open, because I had gently prodded and tapped on it and it felt and sounded dried and hollow.

I also noted there were dried remnants of gecko egg-shell attached to the snail shell walls. These remnants were next to the dried gecko eggs and I assume that is where my stowaway gecko hatchlings came from. I read an article that said gecko hatchlings may eat their shells after hatching. It would appear that was the case since there were no shell fragments falling out of the snail shell when I first examined them all, and again, there was nothing left but the tiny bit of shell fragment that was "glued" to the wall of the snail shell. There were no other snail shells with gecko eggs or remnants that I could see.

It's also interesting to note a couple other things I found out recently. The snail shell that had the eggs in it was the shell of an aquatic snail, according to Steve Sullivan of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago Illinois. He said they must have been left on land by predators after having a meal of snails. When I thought about it, it made sense. Where I found the shells were near ponds that were teaming with snails and were surrounded with coconut trees and lush tropical vegetation, the preferred habitat of the adults. Also, the two locations I found these snail shells were consistently moist so it would be an excellent place for the eggs to be laid. One location was under the garden bushes of the resort where we stayed (there were water sprinklers there and man-made ponds) and the other was near the edge of a natural marshy pond, not far from the shore. It is also interesting to note that mourning gecko eggs are known to be tolerant of salt water too, so if the surf made its way up over the beach to the marshy pond it would not adversely affect these gecko eggs. Also, this data helps explain one of the theories of their introduction to the Hawaiian Islands 1,500 years ago. The theory suggests that eggs could have been attached to bark or wood that was washed into the ocean and drifted to the islands. And, since they are parthenogenic, there did not need to be a male and female miraculously arriving on shore together. With these little gals, you only need one to start a whole new population!

My hatchlings are now about 3 weeks old and it's great fun watching them pounce on the pinhead crickets and fruit flies. They are amazing acrobats and they leap and run at lightening speeds. Even at this tiny size they are incredibly hard to capture if they escape. One of the two geckos has begun to tame down a bit. I'm guessing she must be Ginger (the less shy castaway!). She does not run and hide whenever the cage is opened. The other, MaryAnn, remains hidden most of the day until dark and then only remains outside her hiding place as long as no one disturbs her.


mourning gecko on coconut shell
newly hatched mourning gecko
snail sheel that helg mourning gecko eggs mourning gecko eggs inside shell


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Mark Chapple is the Author of "How to build enclosures for reptiles"
Find out how to build these cages as well as arboreal cages. Full color pictures, detailed diagrams and easy to follow, step-by-step instructions.